I wrote this for Productive Muslim.
Making to-do lists is a good habit but not necessarily the hallmark of a productive person. Anyone can ramble about what they need to do. The hallmark of a productive person, however, is his/her ability to fill up the ‘Done’ list (without always being serious and in a rush). In this article, I’ll introduce one resource for you to get productive without looking un-cool. In sha Allah you can get things done like a pro and sip coffee at leisure just like our ProductiveMuslim stick figure!
Introducing the Ultimate Muslima Planner 2015
The Ultimate Muslima Planner is the work of Mia Widiasari, an active housewife from Jakarta, Indonesia. Her interest in do-it-yourself projects and love of stationery lead her to explore Photoshop on her own and eventually to design an entire planner!
Initially, it was just a planner for herself and, upon the advice of a good companion, Mia has now brought it to the mass market. Working diligently from planning to designing, collaborating with printers, marketing, packaging, and shipping, Mia’s loving attention is almost tangible when you see the final product. Ma sha Allah wa tabarak Allah.
Being a planning nerd, I’ve used many organisers, diaries, to-do apps, and calendars in my life and I can tell you that the Muslima Planner truly deserves to be called the ultimate one.
The first impression of this product is one of feminine elegance. The product is packaged and shipped with beautiful wrapping on the inside, a waterproof casing on the outside and is accompanied by a thoughtful message. What’s more, I found that the ribbon and message card doubles up as a bookmark for the planner. Talk about re-use!
Design and Productivity Concepts
If you’re familiar with the concepts we teach here at ProductiveMuslim, you’ll recognise those being applied in this planner: tailored for Muslimaat and presented in one lightweight and A5-sized book. No more printouts and loose sheets to manage!
The thick and hard covers ensure that your planner can survive hard knocks throughout the year and still maintain its composure. They also support the book well, enabling you to write neatly on the go. The spiral binding makes it easy to keep it open to the page you want and follow your plans each day. This has the amazing benefit of being an in-your-face reminder compared to planners that are harder to keep open or smartphone apps that can be easily forgotten. In addition, the separate sections are marked with durable tabs for easy identification and perusal. I’m telling you, this planner is made to last an entire year of active and productive living!
Set Interconnected Goals
The planning pages start off with a reminder to begin all planning activity with Bismillah, a source of barakah, In sha Allah. While most planners provide pages for you to plan your annual, monthly, weekly and daily goals, they don’t always provide a clear interconnection. It’s very easy to make daily plans that have nothing to do with the big picture we have for the year, and we know that’s a surefire way to make sure our ‘big plans’ always remain as plans and never get done!
As the saying goes, “How you spend your days is how you spend your life”. The Ultimate Muslima Planner helps you connect your big plans to your daily plans so that the yearly plans are mapped to a particular week, and these weekly plans are mapped to a day. So you end up actually scheduling your goals and getting them done instead of planning them for that elusive “someday”.
The calendar pages indicate the Hijri and Gregorian months together for really productive Muslimah planning. Also to encourage a touch of spirituality in your daily planning, is an attractive visual reminder of the 7 daily spiritual habits recommended by ProductiveMuslim.
Plan A Monthly Challenge
What appeals to me most about the Ultimate Muslima Planner is that every page reminds you to be proactive and protective of your time. The monthly planning pages, for example, have a space for you to plan a challenge of the month. How easy is it to let months and years slip by without making major improvements or achieving anything substantial? Having such monthly challenges motivates you to make every month count towards dunya and akhirah.
Manage Your Finances
A productive Muslimah is conscious of her finances, whether she earns for herself or manages her husband’s income to run the household. The Ultimate Muslima Planner comes with a dedicated financial planning section which helps you with managing your budgeting, saving (such as for Hajj or umrah), and daily transaction management. Now you know where every cent goes and will be equipped to make healthy financial choices throughout the year, improving from month to month In sha Allah. There’s even a debt management section to help us tackle our debts proactively and be free of that burden. May Allah make it easy, ameen.
I did find that I couldn’t find adequate space to record incomes such as your salary, sales, or allowance provided by the breadwinner. However, it’s easy to work around this and customise the pages according to your needs, even using multi-coloured sticky notes and clips to add an extra touch of colour and personal organisation.
Manage Your Home
The weekly planning section comes bundled with a cleaning guide for tackling your chores systematically in daily, weekly, monthly, and annual chunks instead of feeling overwhelmed and overworked. I feel relieved just by seeing the household work laid out in this way!
There’s also a sunnah-based guide for planning meals and laying out the menu. You know how it’s easy to learn about sunnah habits and then forget about them in implementation? That problem is solved when you use the Ultimate Muslima Planner because it combines the basic reminders in a beautiful way.
Manage Your Worship
The ibadah planning portion is an absolutely brilliant resource too, not only does it motivate you to step up your ibadah activities, but to also make regular progress in your spiritual activities. Some of the terminology used might be specific to the Indonesian/Malaysian community and confusing for others, but it’s still easy enough to interpret the intended ideas. This section provides extremely detailed support for managing Ramadan, encompassing elements you wouldn’t think of or would be too busy to consider. Just consider your Ramadan planning to be on auto-pilot if you use the Ultimate Muslima Planner! The beauty of it is that it even has a page for maintaining your productivity when you are unable to fast and also to make up your missed fasts. These ibadah planning pages really took my breath away.
A Gem For Productivity
The weekly planner combines the aspects of ibadah, health, nutrition, and M.I.T. (Most Important Tasks) management to help you achieve a balanced week where you give due focus to spiritual, social, and physical productivity like a truly productive Muslimah. Perhaps an improvement for future editions of this planner would be to incorporate time slots for the entire day so that appointments can be accurately recorded in their particular slot and to-dos can be scheduled for specific times of the day.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, a productive Muslimah has time for relaxation and fun. In fact, we make time for fun. This concept is often lacking in traditional planners. The Ultimate Muslima Planner beautifully incorporates fun with its practical vacation, iftar party, and Eid planning pages complete with itinerary, checklists, timelines, shopping lists, sunnah to-dos, prayer places and times, sacrificial animal planning and budgeting, and much much more!
I could go on and on about this treasure. For someone who values their time and life and wants to make something meaningful out of it, this planner truly is a treasure. It’s well thought out, beautifully designed, practical and makes a productive lifestyle so easy to follow. It works for anyone – from the seasoned productivity-obsessed ladies to those just starting out on a journey of more productivity-conscious living.
A Note From the Developer
I asked Mia if she has any rules she follows in the design and sale of the Ultimate Muslima Planner:
“Since this planner caters to the Muslimah audience, I was trying to keep the design feminine but also fresh and modern. However with the academic planner that I will release quite soon, I plan the design to be more universally accepted because I would like male students to be able to use it as well. For wholesalers, I’d like them to actually see and feel the planner themselves before actually allowing them to resell it. It is in accordance to what our Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said in one of his noble hadith: ‘Do not sell what you do not possess’. [Sunan Abi Dawud].”
Should You Buy It?
Currently retailing at USD 20 internationally and IDR 200,000 within Indonesia (the numbers are different for wholesalers), I’d say it’s a scant price to pay to take charge of your life and make the most of your life for this world and the hereafter.
Do you have the Ultimate Muslima Planner? Are you planning to buy it? What other planners and diaries would you recommend? Let us know if this review was helpful in the comments below!